The Tower on the Plains
Originally posted Aug 21, 2012
My Dad used to tell me about being there the day they hoisted The Sower up to the very top of the Nebraska State Capitol. Today, I office directly across the street from that magnificent building, with a wonderful view of it right outside my window. If you live in Lincoln, and especially if you are caught up in the spin of state government, it is every bit a part of your daily life. It is a building to be loved, and we do.
I have asked friends who live next door to the Atlantic, the Rockies, and the Nebraska Pine Ridge if they ever get to the point of just taking them for granted. Each of them has said, no, you never do. Ever. It’s always there, and it always has a way of planting itself firmly in your awareness. And it’s that way with the Nebraska Capitol. Early in my career, I worked in it every day for two years. These days, I practically spend all my professional life in it for four to six months of the year. But I never, ever walk into it without noticing at some level of consciousness how truly unique and impressive it really is. There is a little thrill in re-encountering it each time, and it never goes away.
When things get a little slow in my work day, I like to walk over to the front entrance on the second floor and read the dedication plaque that was placed there at the time the building was brand new. In part, it contains the words, “It is difficult for Nebraska to realize what it has done…” Maybe. Maybe not. Built in the depths of the Great Depression and paid for on the day it was completed, I tend to think Nebraskans knew exactly what they were doing and what it would mean to future generations. Whether Nebraskans as a people would do something of that magnitude today is a matter that one can only speculate on, but they did it once, and we’ll always have that.
The Capitol probably has had some hundreds of thousands of pictures taken of it, but I finally had to add my own photo to the total. When I passed it the other day, the building and the sky behind it were so striking, I had to go home to get a camera and come back to shoot it. I don’t know if the photo is any great shakes, but it’s mine, and because it seems some organization or individual always needs a shot of the Capitol for a publication or project, I’ve put it up on this site, both in color and black and white.
I do know one thing: Dad would have loved it.
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